Soccer for a Cause unveils proposed expansion of Toyota Field to create top-tier soccer stadium

scorpions logoSoccer for a causeSoccer for a Cause unveiled a proposed expansion of the home of the San Antonio Scorpions – Toyota Field – to make it one of the nation’s premier soccer and special-events venues.

“The escalating interest in the Scorpions and professional soccer over the past two years has been mind-boggling,” said Gordon Hartman, who launched Soccer for a Cause to bring pro soccer to San Antonio and benefit the special-needs community.  “We are blessed to be a franchise playing in the North American Soccer League, however we must be prepared to expand once support and investment are secured to allow for additional opportunities.

“We want to be ready to take our venue to the next level as fan and sponsor support in soccer continues to grow.  The recent World Cup competition serves as a great example that the most popular sport internationally is gaining even more popularity all over the globe including San Antonio and South Texas.”

In the interest of elevating soccer to the highest professional level, District 10 City Councilman Mike Gallagher has already received the support of four fellow Council colleagues to request that the full City Council pass a resolution affirming its desire to assist in bringing Major League Soccer (MLS) to San Antonio.

“The success of the San Antonio Scorpions and Toyota Field is providing compelling evidence that a professional soccer market exists here in San Antonio,” Councilman Gallagher said.  “Soccer has the same potential to transform San Antonio into a major league city as pro basketball did over 43 years ago.  The opportunity to bring MLS to San Antonio not only benefits the citizens of this city but also impacts South and Central Texas and Mexico.”

Toyota Field Additions and Improvements
The cost to expand Toyota Field is estimated at $38-45 million.  Designed by Pro Sports Developments (PSD) of San Antonio, the expansion envisions the addition of 10,000 seats to the existing 8,000, with 9,000 of the new seats on a new upper tier that would create a bowl-like configuration around the playing field.

“A roof canopy above the new upper-tier seating would provide shade as well as amplify the crowd noise that Toyota Field is famous for,” Hartman explained.  “This would rival the fan experience and atmosphere of any top-tier soccer-specific stadium across the country.”

Eighteen suites accommodating up to 24 fans apiece would be added to the east side of the stadium, bringing the total number of Toyota Field suites to 32.  Plans also call for three new clubs – the East Club with 130 balcony seats on the east suite level, the West Club with 40 observation-terrace seats on the existing west suite level and a Members Club at the southeast corner of the stadium.  Club patrons and suite holders would be allowed to use a new entrance directly across from existing reserved parking.

Other proposed enhancements include concessions, restrooms and merchandise outlets on each stadium level to efficiently meet the level of fan demand at halftime; field lighting for Division 1 network broadcasting; and a team store accessible from inside and outside the stadium.

Just as Soccer for a Cause has been a “beacon of light” for San Antonio and professional sports, Hartman said, a high-powered beam of light is planned to extend from the southeast corner of the stadium high up into the night sky during Scorpions matches.  The shaft of light would be seen for miles away, reminding San Antonio and surrounding areas that the home team is on the pitch.  The beam of light would turn red when the Scorpions score a goal or win the match.

About Soccer for a Cause
In 2010, Soccer for a Cause mobilized community support for pro soccer and ultimately led to the establishment of the Scorpions franchise, the only one of its kind in professional sports.  The Scorpions and Toyota Field – along with the nearby STAR (South Texas Area Regional) Soccer Complex, with its 13 FIFA-sized fields for league and tournament play – commit all net profits to Morgan’s Wonderland, which was designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built to be enjoyed by everyone.  This helps the non-profit theme park meet its operating expenses as well as expand programs and services for the special-needs community.

Hartman sold his homebuilding business in 2005 to devote – along with wife Maggie – time, vision and energy to philanthropic pursuits.  They began with Morgan’s Wonderland so people of all ages with and without disabilities could come together in an inclusive, safe, totally wheelchair-accessible theme park for fun and understanding.  Now in its fifth season, Morgan’s Wonderland features more than 25 attractions including rides, playscapes and gardens spread out over 25 acres in what once was a limestone quarry.  The park admits anyone with a cognitive or physical special need free of charge.

Construction of Toyota Field began in April 2012, and the Scorpions played their first home match there a year later.  On Aug. 28, 2012, global automaker Toyota announced its presenting sponsorship of Toyota Field, which is also designed to host special events, community activities and concerts.  Toyota Field is owned and managed by the same 501C-3 non-profit organization as Morgan’s Wonderland.

Toyota Field is located adjacent to Morgan’s Wonderland at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive, a half-mile west of IH 35 in Northeast San Antonio.

For More Information
Additional information about Toyota Field is available at, while more info about the San Antonio Scorpions can be found at, or  Visit or call (210) 495-5888 to learn more about Morgan’s Wonderland, and go to to find out more about Monarch Academy, a school for students with special needs next to Morgan’s Wonderland.

Security Service FCU breaks ground on new location at Rolling Oaks

Security Services Federal Credit UnionSecurity Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU) has broken ground on a new branch, moving its Rolling Oaks Mall location to a freestanding SSFCU pad site in close proximity to the mall. The new branch, located at 6907 North Loop 1604 E, is expected to open in 1Q 2015 and features 4,800 square feet of interior space with seven private offices, safety deposit boxes, four drive thru lanes and a drive up ATM.

SSFCU exteriorJohn M. Neugebauer is the architect on the project. Jordan Foster Construction is general contractor.

“Developing this new branch allows us to provide greater visibility and easier access, as well as bring to members the added convenience of drive thru lanes and a drive up ATM,” said John Worthington, SSFCU’s executive vice president. “A continuation of our commitment to our members and community, this expanded location has been designed with their needs and expectations in mind and will offer the broad range of products and services they expect from Security Service.”

SSFCU has 70 branches in Texas, Utah and Colorado; 24 are in San Antonio.

About Security Service Federal Credit Union
Security Service Federal Credit Union offers competitive, affordable financial products and services designed to meet the needs of its members. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Security Service is an industry-leading financial institution with $8 billion in assets and 70 locations in Texas, Colorado and Utah. The credit union is among the top 10 credit unions in the nation. Security Service strives to be America’s best credit union and provides the true benefits of credit union membership with financial services of the highest quality and value. Learn more at or call 1-800-52-SSFCU.

Security Service Federal Credit Union receives best practice recognition from Credit Union Direct

Security Services Federal Credit UnionSecurity Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU) has received a Best Practice Award in the category of Business Development from CU Direct (, the nation’s leading provider of lending, automotive and strategic solutions to the credit union industry. The award was presented during the Credit Union Service Organization’s (CUSO’s) annual credit union lending and marketing conference, held in May in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The proven sales philosophy for SSFCU’s indirect lending department has evolved into a sales-centric culture focused on delivering superior service throughout the application, decision and funding process. For example, SSFCU’s indirect lending department can receive an application, underwrite the loan, receive the loan package, process and fund the loan the same business day, all in a paperless environment.

“Our success lies behind the fact that our business model is both sustainable and replicable, contributing to our ongoing growth,” said Charles Goss, SSFCU’s executive vice president and chief lending officer. “We spend a lot of time training and coaching our loan officers in their communication skills. This leads to our being better able to assess and address dealer needs, as well as accurately identify trends, both negative and positive.”

“We greatly appreciate the work and dedication our credit union partners put into their lending programs,” stated Tony Boutelle, president and CEO of CU Direct. “Their accomplishments provide insight to the strategies and best practices that will contribute to the overall success of our credit unions’ loan programs.”

SSFCU has made significant strides in service capabilities to both dealer customers and members acquired through indirect lending channel.  This, in combination with targeted product offerings, has resulted in excellent growth for the credit union.  With the focus centered on developing new and enhancing existing dealer relationships, indirect lending booked $2.2 billion in 2011, $2.67 billion in 2012 and $2.9 billion in 2013.  During the first four months of 2014, $1.054 billion has been funded, compared with the first four months of 2013 of $840 million.  The credit union recently passed the $5 billion mark in indirect auto loans.

“According to the most recent reports, SSFCU funds one out of every four cars within the San Antonio area,” said Danny Lane, vice president, indirect lending. “We see our business growing steadily since our expansion into Colorado and Utah.”

About Security Service Federal Credit Union
Security Service Federal Credit Union offers competitive, affordable financial products and services designed to meet the needs of its members. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Security Service is an industry-leading financial institution with $7.9 billion in assets and 70 locations in Texas, Colorado and Utah. The credit union is among the top 10 credit unions in the nation. Security Service strives to be America’s best credit union and provides the true benefits of credit union membership with financial services of the highest quality and value. Learn more at or call 1-800-52-SSFCU.

Security Service Federal Credit Union acquires 66 acres for potential future development

Security Services Federal Credit UnionSecurity Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU) officials today announced they have acquired 66 acres from Santikos Real Estate Companies for potential future development. The land is bordered by IH-10 frontage road, UTEX Boulevard, and Leon Creek Greenway.

Aerial Exhibit

SSFCU was represented by Dominion Advisory Group in the acquisition. According to SSFCU President, Jim Laffoon, “As a growing enterprise we are delighted to acquire this property in such a rapidly developing part of the city. With several business units currently in leased facilities, development of a campus on this site will allow us the ability to consolidate our back office operations for many years to come.”

SSFCU selected this location for its close proximity to its Corporate Headquarters, allowing flexibility to meet future expansion needs efficiently and effectively, which may include the relocation of the Corporate Headquarters should that prove to be beneficial.

Security Service is exploring the possible sale of its La Cantera facility and is working with Dominion Advisory Group and CBRE to market the property.

To explore development options for the property, Security Service has engaged Pape Dawson Engineers, Inc. for civil engineering, while Lake Flato and RVK Architects, in a joint effort, will provide site master planning and building design. Dysart LLC will provide development management services.

About Security Service Federal Credit Union
Security Service Federal Credit Union offers competitive, affordable financial products and services designed to meet the needs of its members. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Security Service is an industry-leading financial institution with $7.7 billion in assets and 70 locations in Texas, Colorado and Utah. The credit union is among the top 10 credit unions in the nation. Security Service strives to be America’s best credit union and provides the true benefits of credit union membership with financial services of the highest quality and value. Learn more at or call 1-888-415-7878.

Joeris General Contractors receives top safety award

PrintJoeris General Contractors was recently awarded the prestigious Gold Step Award from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) for its safety performance on the main campus’s North Paseo Project.  This is the second Gold Step Award presented to Joeris for no lost-time injuries on a UTSA construction project.   Joeris is the only general contractor to have achieved Gold Step status with UTSA.

Joeris award pic

“Safety on the job site both for our workers and all sub contractors is of upmost importance to us,” said Adolph Fierros, Safety Director for Joeris.  “We take great pride in our safety program and are honored to have achieved UTSA’s highest safety award for the second time.”

Fierros says safety is a key part of the Joeris culture, and the strength of the company’s safety program comes from not only the training involved, but the commitment from all levels of Joeris management.

“We train our people, educate our people so that they are up to speed on all of the OSHA requirements as well as the requirements we insist upon internally.  We hold comprehensive pre-construction meetings with all of our subs highlighting what Joeris’s expectations are.  Anytime there is a crane on site, our on site team requires the crane operators to go through a detailed check list – no work can be done until the check list is filled out and verified.”

Joeris UTSA pic

Fierros says Joeris has also adopted a policy mandating that all workers wear safety vests, hard hats and safety glasses 100% of the time.

“We are successful because of our full commitment to safety on every job. And our safety culture helps the overall construction industry. If there are subs that need help, they follow our requirements and our lead and they end up bettering themselves.”

What’s new for 2014
In addition to working on the completion of the UTSA North Paseo Building, Joeris continues to work on a number of other major projects here in San Antonio including the North Central Baptist vertical expansion project which is nearing completion.

Joeris is also the General Contractor for the new NISD Bonnie Ellison Elementary School (Oak Drive off I-10 West) and NEISD David Lee “Tex” Hill Middle School (Bulverde Road); and for the major renovation projects at Reagan High School and Eisenhower Middle School.

Joeris on the Move
One 2014 project that is near and dear to the Joeris team is the construction of a new headquarters which will provide more than double the office space of its current building. Construction on the new 40,000 square foot Joeris headquarters in the Arion Business Park (U.S. Hwy. 281N near Bitters Rd.) is now underway.  The company expects to move into its new space by mid November.

For more information on Joeris, an award-winning, employee owned business, visit

Unprecedented expansion plans unveiled for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital

Methodist50thLOGOmethodist childrens hospital logoProject to include two new patient towers, expansion of adult and children’s emergency departments, neonatal ICU expansion and parking garage addition 

Methodist Hospital today announced its largest construction project in its history, which will expand the footprint of the Methodist Hospital campus by 445,000 square feet. Cost for the expansion will exceed $200 million and includes renovations and expansions for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital, a campus of Methodist Hospital. Construction begins in 2014 and will continue through 2017.

MH Expansion Site Plan

“With a 50-year track record of as the most preferred hospital in the region, it’s important to continue to meet the needs of our community, our employees, and our physicians,” said Gay Nord, chief executive officer of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital. “Our landmark expansion includes upgrades to substantial areas and services across Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital to include the addition of two new patient towers, expansion of women’s services and neonatal ICU, and expansion of emergency services as well as surgical services.”

“We’ve built a reputation for providing exceptional health care to the people of San Antonio and South Texas,” she continued. “Now it’s time for us to embark on the largest construction project our organization has ever undertaken.”

Highlights of the project include:

Methodist Hospital

  • Expansion of the Methodist Hospital Central Tower with a new entrance making the campus even more convenient for women having babies at Methodist Hospital. More women deliver babies at Methodist Hospital than any other hospital in San Antonio.
  • Expansion of the adult emergency department to 48 treatment rooms.
  • Expansion of the sub-level surgical pre-operating and post-operating areas and an additional nine story parking garage, partially underground, which will allow easy patient access from the parking garage to surgical suites.

Methodist Children’s Hospital

  • Expansion of Methodist Children’s Hospital Emergency Department to 40 beds. Methodist Children’s Hospital has the busiest children’s emergency department in the nation.
  • Addition of a six story patient care tower and new entrance for Methodist Children’s Hospital.
  • Expansion of Methodist Children’s Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), resulting in 94 beds. The hospital currently has one of the largest NICUs in the region.

More than 90 percent of the patient rooms will be all private rooms, for the comfort and convenience of patients and their families.



“Congratulations to Methodist Hospital for its vision in recognizing the changing health care needs of our community and for their continued efforts to meet the challenges of our growing region,” said Ron Nirenberg, City Council representative from District 8. “This investment in our city is not only an economic generator, but also a commitment to excellence in health care for the benefit of San Antonio and South Texas families.” The expansion will increase jobs on the Methodist Hospital campus by eight percent.

Methodist Hospital opened in 1963 as the pioneer facility in the now world-renowned South Texas Medical Center with 175 beds and a staff of 272. Today, the hospital has 882 beds and employs 3,538 staff members with total annual salaries of $186 million.

Methodist Children’s Hospital opened in 1998 as the only hospital in the region built exclusively for children. It is the most preferred children’s hospital in the region and the largest provider of pediatric health care south of Dallas and west of Houston, serving children throughout south, central and west Texas.